Bar Willow Eatery working with City of Regina on outdoor dining solution
REGINA -- The Bar Willow Eatery and City of Regina are working together in hopes of finding a quick and effective solution to the restaurant’s outdoor patio dining space, which was shut down by the city after failing to meet permitting requirements.
Over the weekend, the restaurant made a social media post voicing frustration about shutting down its patio space, known as the “Snow Fort.”
The space was created as a COVID-19 friendly way for the restaurant to serve more customers. But the city requires permits and plans for structures like the tents that the restaurant couldn’t afford.
The social media post was met with an outpouring of support from the community.
“It’s overwhelming in a good way,” Amanda Carter, the co-owner of Bar Willow Eatery, said. “We’ve had a lot of feedback from the public, we had the city reach out to us to see what we could do to resolve the issue, so we’ve been pleasantly surprised.”
Fred Searle, the director of planning and development services with the city, said city officials have been in contact with the owners of Bar Willow Eatery and are trying to move toward a resolution as quickly as possible.
“We want to help them. We don’t want to have this be a prolonged disruption to their business so we’re working with them on solutions that would help them to achieve a quick outcome,” Searle said.
Searle said the city is trying to be flexible where possible as the process continues.
“The city understands the times we’re in and where we can certainly expedite our processes and look for those opportunities, we will do that,” he said.
The Bar Willow Eatery owners said they’ve seen support from more than just the city over the past few days. Customers, former employees, friends, other local businesses and more have reached out.
“We had probably seven different engineers come forward and offer to do drawings for us, which was amazing and not expected at all,” Carter said.
She said they have been in contact with one of those engineers who is helping with the process.
“We are working on a quick resolution,” Carter said. “Even if it’s a temporary solution until we can get the proper permitting.”
Carter said she’s hopeful a resolution will be found in the coming days and the outdoor patio space will be open to customers again.